People with severe depression in East Surrey could in the future get care via a revolutionary app.

For in the country’s first scheme of its kind, Surrey County Council and local GP groups are paying for around 100 selected patients to be able to use the app, known as telehealth.

The app will be used by adults who usually need to attend mental health clinics, but who will instead, by using the app, be able to monitor their own progress with the help of a tablet computer and expert healthcare support via Skype-style video conferencing.

The scheme is being launched in Surrey's Runnymede and Spelthorne areas in a two-year trial.

But Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust, which is leading the project with specialists Medvivo, is planning to widen the scheme to other areas of the county in future.

The telehealth project’s goal is to give patients more choice over where they get treatment, and for them to learn to manage their condition better without needing as many hospital visits.

The ground-breaking mental health trial comes after the county council and local GPs paid for heart and lung patients to get the easy-to-use electronic telehealth equipment from last September.

Councillor Mel Few, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for adult social care, said: “The county council is always looking for innovative ways to protect vulnerable adults, which is why we’re more than happy to extend our funding for telehealth after it successfully helped more than 300 people in Surrey manage serious long-term conditions from home.”

For more information visit the Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust website at: